County FBs join with State Police, IDOT on SMV safety
A campaign to save lives and prevent farm machinery-traffic accidents kicks off Monday at the Illinois State Fair.
Published: Aug 13, 2012
A campaign to save lives and prevent farm machinery-traffic accidents kicked off today at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield.
Several county Farm Bureaus, the Illinois State Police, and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) are working to make drivers aware that farm equipment moves slowly on rural roads and highways.
“One driving fatality is one too many. We need to educate the public about these things,” State Police Trooper Mike Kindhart told FarmWeek.
Kindhart, a safety education officer, helped spearhead the campaign along with IDOT and the Farm Bureaus in Adams, Brown, Pike, Schuyler, and Scott counties in State Police District 20.
Similar to a statewide motorcycle awareness campaign, the new campaign focuses on slow moving vehicle (SMV) emblems and urges drivers to slow down and share the road.
The county Farm Bureaus had 3-foot-by-20-foot banners printed with the slogan. Farmer volunteers will post the banners along heavily traveled rural roads during harvest, said Shawn Valter, Adams County Farm Bureau manager.
A similar safety awareness campaign is being spearheaded by the Madison County Farm Bureau Young Farmers and IDOT.
“IDOT wanted to make motorists aware of slow moving farm vehicles on the road,” said Tom Jett, Madison County Farm Bureau manager. Madison County Farm Bureau leaders also are launching their campaign today at the State Fair.
With drivers being distracted by cell phones and other devices, the need for such a campaign is greater, Kindhart said. The banners will be relocated among the counties during harvest. They will be removed and then posted at different locations during planting season.
Both Kindhart and Valter said they hoped the safety campaign expands around Illinois.
The Western Illinois area campaign will kick off at 10 a.m. Aug. 23 at the Martin Kroencke John Deere dealership, near the Quincy Airport.
The State Police are taking the campaign seriously, according to Kindhart. State troopers are committed to making “zero fatalities a reality,” he said.
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